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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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DE RUEHTV #2289/01 2080716
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P 270716Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
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JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
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Mideast

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Key Stories in the Media:
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Please note: block quotes only Friday, July 27, 2007

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Mideast:
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Summary:
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Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "There is no doubt that Blair did not leave
10 Downing Street and his place in the front row of world leaders
only to take care of repairing Ramallah's sewage system ... The man
who has repeatedly declared that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
the source of the problems between Islam and the West, and that this
dispute can only be solved if a suitable mediator is found, will try
his luck at concocting an agreement."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "It is
pointless for the Arab states to continue to wait for the
Palestinians to lead. It is the Arab states that led the
Palestinians into war, before Israel's establishment and since, and
it is the Arab states that must lead them to peace."

Block Quotes:
-------------

I. "Blair the Rock Star"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (07/27): "Blair's visit left no doubt about it
-- an international rock star is now dealing with the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process. None of the previous
personalities or emissaries enjoyed a similar standing, or the
prestige and political savoir faire that Blair has brought with him
to the position.... The major question that accompanied Blair's
meetings with Israel's top political echelon concerned his
intentions. Will he stick to the limited mandate he has been given
by the Quartet ... or will he be pushed into genuine mediation
between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the leaders pf the
Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and Salem Fayad, on the way to
a final status solution -- and perhaps also Nobel Peace Prize?....
There is no doubt that Blair did not leave 10 Downing Street and his
place in the front row of world leaders only to take care of
repairing Ramallah's sewage system ... The man who has repeatedly
declared that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source of the
problems between Islam and the West, and that this dispute can only
be solved if a suitable mediator is found, will try his luck at
concocting an agreement."

II. "Arabs Must Lead"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (07/27):
"With the important exceptions of the Egyptian and Jordanian peace
treaties, and Mauritania's recognition of the Jewish state, the Arab
states have been unwilling to lead the Palestinians towards peace
with Israel. That example is obviously no longer enough. The
Palestinians are weaker and more radicalized than ever.... It is
pointless for the Arab states to continue to wait for the
Palestinians to lead. It is the Arab states that led the
Palestinians into war, before Israel's establishment and since, and
it is the Arab states that must lead them to peace.... The West
should be pushing all the Arab states, not just Egypt and Jordan, to
begin normalizing relations with Israel and to abandon positions
inconsistent with Israel's right to exist. It should go without
saying that the West itself should be unabashedly rejecting such
positions as well."
CRETZ

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